October 22nd, 2012

Try Vihtavuori N320 in your .45 ACP Pistol

VV N320 for .45 ACP

VV N320 for .45 ACPMan does not live by long-guns alone. We know that many of our readers own .45 ACP handguns and load for this extremely accurate “classic” cartridge. When selecting a powder for the .45 ACP, there are many good options. All the major powder manufacturers make propellants with appropriate density and burn rate characteristics for the .45 ACP. Popular choices include: AA #5 (Accurate Powder); Bullseye (Alliant); Clays, HP-38, and Titegroup (Hodgdon); VV N310 and N320 (Vihtavuori); and WW 231 and WST (Winchester). We’ve tried all those powders in a variety of .45 ACP handguns. When we consider all the factors that make for a good pistol powder, we think N320 is one of the best available propellants for the .45 ACP. Vihtavuori N320 is very accurate, it meters well, and it burns clean, with minimal smoke and flash. If you haven’t tried VV N320 yet, you should.

Pros and Cons of Different Powders for the .45 ACP
This Editor has personally tried out eight or more different powders for the .45 ACP. Bullseye works but it is very dirty (both smoke out the barrel and sooty powder fouling on case). Though it otherwise burns clean, Titegroup leaves a singular (and nasty) high-temp flame streak on your brass that is hard to remove. AA #5 is a good choice for progressive press newbies as you use more powder so a double charge will (usually) be obvious. I like AA #5 but N320 was more accurate. Clays burns clean but some powder measures struggle with flake powders like this. WW 231 offered excellent accuracy and metered well, but it kicked out sparks with little pieces of debris that would hit me in the face. Who wants that?

I personally tried all the powders listed above with lead, plated, and jacketed bullets. After testing for accuracy, consistency, and ease of metering, I selected VV N320 as the best overall performer.

Vihtavuori N320

  • No powder tested was more accurate (WW 231 was equally accurate).
  • Meters very well in all kinds of powder measures.
  • Produces very little smoke from muzzle.
  • Does not put nasty burn streak on brass like Tite-Group does.
  • Low Flash — you don’t get particles and sparks flying out like WW 231.
  • Cases come out from gun very clean — so you can tumble less often.

Forum member and gunsmith Michael Ezell agrees that N320 is a good choice for the .45 ACP. Mike has also found that WW 231, while accurate, produces sparks and a large flash. Mike writes: “I first started using N320 after my first night shoot, while shooting IDPA/IPSC matches. It was astonishing how much of a fireball the WW 231 created. I was literally blinded by the flash while trying to shoot a match. As you can imagine, that didn’t work out very well. I went from WW 231 to N320 and never looked back…and the flash from it was a fraction of what a kid’s sparkler would give off. I have nothing but good things to say about [N320] after using both. Night shoots are a real eye-opener! When it comes to a personal protection… there is, statistically, a very high chance that if you ever have to use a gun to protect yourself or your family, it’ll be in the darkness[.] Being blinded by muzzle flash (and deafened by the noise) are things that should be considered, IMO.”

This Editor owns a full-size, all-stainless S&W 1911. After trying numerous powders, I found VV N320 delivered the best combination of accuracy, easy metering, consistency, clean burning qualities, and low muzzle flash. My gun has proven exceptionally accurate using N320 with bullets from 180 grains to 230 grains — it will shoot as accurately as some expensive customs I’ve tried. At right is 5-round group I shot offhand at 10 yards with my 5″ S&W 1911. The bullet hole edges are sharp because I was using semi-wad-cutters. Rounds were loaded with Vihtavuori N320 and 200-grain SWCs from Precision Bullets in Texas.

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October 22nd, 2012

9th Edition of Hornady Reloading Handbook Coming December 1

Hornady Reloading Handbook Ninth 9thThe Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (9th Edition) will be available December 1st, 2012. The latest edition of this popular resource offers over 900 pages worth of reloading data covering 233 different cartridge types, 146 powders, and 304 bullet designs. Each cartridge write-up includes applicable Hornady bullets along with velocity and powder charts.

What’s New in 9th Edition
New Cartridge Types — Cartridge additions include the 17 Hornet, 327 Federal Mag, 356 Winchester, 5.56 NATO, 416 Barrett, and 505 Gibbs. There is also expanded data on over 20 favorites like the 223 Rem, 300 Whisper/AAC Blackout, 308 Win, 25-06 Rem, 257 Wby Mag and many more.

New Powders — A variety of propellants such as Power Pro Varmint, AR-Comp, CFE-223, among others have been added to many popular cartridges.

New Bullets — The Handbook includes data on newer Hornady bullets like the MonoFlex, NTX, GMX and FTX, plus longtime favorites like the V-MAX™, SST, InterBond, InterLock, A-MAX, XTP.

The 9th Edition Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading is worth adding to your library of reloading resources. In addition to comprehensive reloading charts, the Handbook provides in-depth, easy-to-understand explanations of internal, external and terminal ballistics. For further information regarding Hornady® products, visit the company web site at http://hornady.com.

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October 22nd, 2012

Kowa Now Offers Digiscoping Adapters for Spotters and Binocs

Kowa Sporting Optics now offers a DigiScoping adapter for the iPhone 4 and 4S models. Kowa’s TSN-IP4S iPhone adapter comes with two standard rings, one for the 880/770 series scopes and one for the BD/SV/YF series of binoculars. Similar in design to Meopta’s Digiscoping adapter released last year, the Kowa product holds an iPhone securely and attaches to the rear ocular of a spotting scope (or binoculars) using a cylindrical sleeve (aka lens ring). Crafted from aluminum, the precision-fit Kowa lens rings are coated with a soft material so they won’t mar your eyepiece(s).

Kowa digiscoping adapter

Kowa digiscoping adapterThe Kowa adapter comes with two standard rings, one for the 88/77 series scopes and one for the BD/SV/YF series of binoculars. Additional adapter rings for the Genesis 33 and 44 series of binoculars and TSN 660/600/82SV spotting scope eyepieces (except long eye-relief eyepieces) and 21x, 32x, and 50x High Lander eyepieces may be purchased separately. The lightweight adapter is made of an epoxy resin material that will not damage the finish of your iPhone.

For more information, visit the Kowa’s Digiscoping Webpage. Watch the video below to see how the Adapter holds the iPhone on spotting scopes.

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